The masked women of Iran

Black veils that cover women’s hair or faces may be common throughout Iran but in the villages of the Persian Gulf, girls as young as nine shield their looks in colorful masks that¬†rely on years of tradition for their distinctive look. The intriguing headpieces are designed according to ancestral tradition and are first worn at social events by children before they reach puberty. And while many women – and their husbands – cling to the tradition, others lament the rise of the plain niqab which is growing in popularity simply as it’s cheaper.